Sarna Lapine Directs Sunday In the Park With George, Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, at NY City Center

October 28, 2016

Film Program Almnua Sarna Lapine (’09) directed Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize–winningSunday in the Park with George at New York City Center. Praised by the New York Times as “glorious,” the gala performance ran from Oct. 24 – 26. The production starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, was assistant directed by Theatre alumnus Nikhil Mehta ('14), with production stage management by Peter Lawrence (adjunct faculty) and production by Jeanine Tesori (adjunct faculty).
“One of those shows that seems destined to be forever spoken of with misty-eyed bragging rights by anyone who sees it,” wrote Times critic Ben Brantley. “In terms of conveying this work’s view of art as both a coolly isolating and warmly embracing experience, I’ve never seen a more convincing interpretation.”
The musical takes it’s inspiration from the French post-impressionist painter George Seurat, with the first act focusing on his efforts as a painter and his relationship to his model, Dot. The second act takes place a hundred years later, as Dot’s grandson George struggles with his identity as a modern artist. In addition to writing the book, the original Broadway production was directed by James Lapine, the current director’s uncle. The production won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as two Tony Awards for design (and a nomination for Best Musical), numerous Drama Desk Awards, and the 1991 Olivier Award for Best Musical.
Among Lapine’s directing credits are an evening of Sondheim songs for the Boston Pops, Other Desert Cities for Theatre Aspen, and Tribes for the Segal Centre of Montreal. For two-and-a-half years she served as Associate Director of The National Theatre’s War Horse (North America & Japan Tour). She directed a national tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s South Pacific and was resident director on the first national South Pacific tour. She specializes in developing and directing new work, and has directed readings at New Dramatists, BMI, Ars Nova, New York Theater Workshop, The LARK, Stella Adler, The Araca Group, Boomerang Theatre, and Dixon Place, among others.